If you’re knee-deep in travel brochures, or if your head is pounding from scouring all of the websites on the Internet trying to figure out where your family should go on vacation, the answer might be closer than you think. Nickelodeon Hotels and Resorts in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic is just the ticket for the fun and relaxation combo you’re looking for. We recently had the chance to visit this beautiful island and were pleasantly surprised at the quality and luxury of this family-friendly, all-inclusive resort. Read on for our take on why you should consider taking a trip to the Caribbean for your next getaway.

Photo: Jesseca Stenson

Located about 45 minutes from the Punta Cana International Airport, Nickelodeon Hotels and Resorts is one of the furthest hotels on the “strip.” (Note: this isn’t like Vegas, and it’s not recommended that you walk from resort to resort. It’s along a busy road and there aren’t any sights to see.) The route is pretty direct; thanks to a relatively new highway that makes these hotels easily accessible. Nickelodeon has a partnership with Nexus Tours providing airport transfers, and though you are able to choose your own method of transportation, this is the most convenient.

Thinking a Nickelodeon hotel might be a little over the top, or maybe even kitschy in its design? As soon as you walk into the lobby those fears will dissipate. Sleek, muted décor marries well with iconic sites like a bronze statue of SpongeBob. Adults are welcomed with a flute of sparkling wine, and kids get their own special beverage—a slime refresher. (It tastes like a green piña colada, without the booze).

Photo: Jesseca Stenson

There are 208 suites, designed in seven styles,  so there’s something that will appeal to everyone. There are even swim up suites, where you can have a pool right outside your balcony. (For those with young children, there’s also a lockable safety gate.) There are also four exclusive Super Villas, including one that pays homage to Spongebob’s famous pineapple home in Bikini Bottom. With just under 2,300 sq. ft. of living space and a private butler, this villa guarantees guests will have an unforgettable experience.

But you won’t be spending all your time in your room, not when there’s so much to do on the grounds. First up: Aqua Nick, the resort’s water park that is complete with lazy river.

Photo: Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana

Aqua Nick

Located at one end of the resort, Aqua Nick is the property’s super cool water park. There are slides, fountains, the ever-popular lazy river, and even a shallow pool area for the littles. There are multiple lifeguards on duty, ample lounge chair seating, and even a place for food and drinks.

Beach Front

The golden sands of Uvero Alto beach, complete with lounge chairs and cabanas, await kids and adults alike. You can reserve the cabanas in the morning for the following day, or if you’re feeling lucky, you can check for same-day cancellations. There are two bars and two restaurants within close proximity of the beach, as well as the resort’s impressive infinity pool, in case you need a beach break.

Photo: Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana

Dining

The Gourmet Inclusive dining experience is what sets the resort apart from other all-inclusive hotels. You can choose from eight different restaurants, a coffee shop, two lounges, and let’s not forget the in-room service available. If you’d like a grown up meal, there are sophisticated eateries just for you, or if you’d like a more kid-friendly spot, there are of course those too. Room service is available 24/7 if you’d rather stay in your room.  The one thing that remains consistent throughout is the quality.

Photo: Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana

Nightly events in the Gourmet Inclusive village, onsite childcare at Just Kiddin’, weekly beach parties, a Sports Hub, Vassa Spa, fitness center, and so much more round out the amenities at this first class resort. If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind vacation, where you can actually relax and enjoy the time off with your family, Nickelodeon Hotels and Resorts should be at the top of your list.

Photo: Jesseca Stenson

Pro Tips/Know Before You Go:

Sunscreen, Sunscreen, Sunscreen
Even if you think you’ve applied enough, apply some more. The sun is way hotter and stronger in the tropics, and you’ll need to reapply sooner than usual, especially if you or the kids have been hanging in the water. Let’s just say we learned this lesson the hard way.

Currency Exchange
The Dominican Republic’s form of currency is the Dominican Peso, however there isn’t a need to exchange dollars to pesos if you’re staying on site or local. This is a major tourist area and most places will accept USD. If you’re planning excursions outside of the resort, it’s always a good idea to double check what forms of payment they accept before you get there.

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USB Outlets, Free WiFi
No need to pack converters—the rooms are equipped with standard 110v outlets, plus there are USB slots as well. You’ll also enjoy free WiFi during your stay, but you’ll probably be too busy at the water park or the beach or the pool or just relaxing to use it much.

Ground Shuttles Every 10 Minutes
To walk from end to end of the resort it would take about 15 minutes. If you’re not in the mood, or you need assistance, there are convenient shuttles (golf carts!) that run approximately every 15 minutes that will take you to and from the water park, beach, restaurants, and rooms.

Don’t Drink the Water
The tap water in the Dominican Republic is not suitable for drinking. Luckily bottled water is readily available everywhere across the resort, including in the mini fridge in your room(that is refilled daily), and in the bathroom for brushing your teeth.

Baby Gear Available on Site
If you forgot to pack swim diapers, or if you didn’t plan on enough baby food, the resort has you covered. Diapers, swim diapers, floaties, sunscreen, and more are all available for purchase at the main gift shop. You’ll be paying for the convenience, for example a full sized bottle of sunscreen is $25. (Similarly, aloe gel is $18.) Cribs and Gerber baby food are also available by request.

The Nickelodeon Touch
It wouldn’t be Nickelodeon if there wasn’t a little slime involved. Guests can sign up for private slimings, or if they’d rather bond with fellow Nick lovers, there’s a mass sliming that happens at Aqua Nick daily. Plus, you can meet your favorite Nick characters like Chase from Paw Patrol, Dora and Boots, or the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, just to name a few. Professional pictures for both experiences are also available for purchase. Because of course you want photographic proof that you got slimed.

IBCCES Certified
The resort recently completed a training and certification program through the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) so the staff are adequately prepared to welcome guests on the autism spectrum or those with sensory sensitivities.

Photo: Jesseca Stenson

This trip was paid for in part by J. Wade Public Relations, however the opinions expressed are that of the writer only.

—Jesseca Stenson

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